Shoalhaven (Berry/Nowra)

Select Society

Postal Address:

PO Box 269
Berry NSW 2535

ABN:  47 194 381 395

A warm welcome to ADFAS Shoalhaven.

Our meetings, held at the School of Arts in the historic township of Berry, are a wonderful and informal way to meet friends and to get to know others in the community. New members are always welcome and may join at any time during the year. Visitors are welcome. No prior knowledge is needed – just a curiosity and a desire to know more about the fascinating world of the arts.

Our wide-ranging 2019 program includes nine Thursday evening lectures. Each lecture is followed by a light supper. Also in 2019, we will hold two Special Interest Days – one half-day (two lectures) and one whole-day (three lectures) – both on a Friday.


Committee 2019

Mr Ted Jarrett
(02) 4464 3242

Vice Chair
Dr Rowan Hollingworth
0417 676 014

For Membership Enquiries
Mr Ted Jarrett
(02) 4464 3242

Programme for 2019

Thursday 7 February 7.30 pm


The Tentmakers of Old Cairo

Jenny lived for four years in Cairo and worked closely with the Egyptian Tentmakers – men who do the superb fine appliqué panels used for lining tents. The art is dying. In 1979, the Tentmakers’ Street had 247 skilled masters. Now it is down to 45. Collections are not held anywhere in Egypt, yet the work is stunning and beautiful. Jenny will talk about the history and development of the Tentmakers’ appliqué.

House where Jane Austen died.

Jenny Bowker – Appliqué Work

Thursday 28 February


Auguste Rodin and the Gates of Hell

Rodin began working on the commission for The Gates of Hell in 1882. It was not finished by the time he died in 1917. Inspired by Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, Divine Comedy, Rodin did wonderful drawings and filled his magnificent doors with figures that influenced his entire career. Jacqueline will look at individual sculptures, such as The Kiss, The Thinker and The Three Shades and his other depictions of characters condemned to Hell for their crimes.

Irish Coat of Arms

Gates of Hell – Detail, in plaster

Thursday 28 March 7.30 pm


Acquired Taste: The Invention of the Restaurant in 19th Century Paris

Life without restaurants is hard to imagine. It is even harder to think that the first restaurants were for the fastidious, who did not even like eating. They were served a restorative broth or “restaurant’. It was for such delicate stomachs that the first establishments in the Palais Royal opened up new dining rooms with separate tables, a menu, fixed prices and flexible opening hours. When the French Revolution broke out 20 years later, the unemployed cooks and maitres d’ of exiled royalty began introducing the paying public to the delights of aristocratic cuisine. The restaurant as we know it was born.

This lecture will investigate the first great restaurants, chefs, patrons and gastronomes such as Grimod, Careme and Talleyrand, and the invention of modern cuisine with Escoffier at the Ritz.

Indonesian Elaborate Carving

Jorge Cortell Baroque Bistro, Paris.

Thursday 2 May 7.30 pm


Laura Knight: from Newlyn to Nuremberg

Laura Knight’s joie de vivre surfaces in her art. From a relatively humble background, that left her ignorant of developments in contemporary art, she progressed to become one of Britain’s best-known artists and the first female Royal Academician since the 18th century. She is known for her sunny beach scenes, the circus, ballet and theatre, and she loved the atmosphere of gypsy encampments and befriended some of her subjects. During WWII she received several official commissions, culminating in her famous depiction of the Nuremberg Trials of 1946, where she was THE official artist.

Dominic Riley Book Cover

Dame Laura Knight Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring, 1943. Imperial War Museum, London

Friday 3 May Special Interest Day: Two lectures, commencing 10.00 am

Please note: This event will be held in the Berry Uniting Church Hall, 77 Albert St, Berry NSW 2535


Americans Abroad: James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent

Whistler and Sargent were two of the most successful American artists of the late 19th century. Both artists trained in Paris and subsequently settled in Chelsea, near London’s River Thames. They knew each other but they were never close. Whistler courted controversy, while Sargent courted the wealthy patrons who were the subject of his stunning portraits.

Whistler produced sophisticated etchings and oil paintings that bring to life Victorian London, while his “Nocturnes” evoke an atmosphere and mood; creating a new art form in the process. Meanwhile, Sargent enjoyed a spectacular career in Paris until the scandal of the “Madame X” portrait forced him to re-locate to London. As well as commissioned portraits, he executed figure studies and dazzling landscapes in both oil and watercolour that bring to life his many travels.

Persian Manuscript

James McNeill Whistler Wapping on Thames 1860-1864. National Gallery of Art, Washington

Women Artists: Their Challenges, Ambitions and Achievements

This lecture focuses on women whose passion for painting enabled them to surmount hurdles. Many of the earliest practising female artists were confined to convents and little is known of their lives. The art world was male-dominated and the obstacles facing the aspiring female artist were many and significant.

Ostensibly the 19th century, with its wider art market, offered opportunities to exhibit, but few women achieved the celebrity status of Lady Butler and Rosa Bonheur. Even Berthe Morisot, recognised in her day as the Impressionist par excellence, is often sidelined by modern art historians. Europe-wide artists’ colonies played an important role in breaking down the barriers, providing opportunities for artists like Laura Knight and Elizabeth Forbes to work alongside their male counterparts. During WW1, several women, including Anna Airey, were given war artist commissions

Andy Goldsworthy Land Art Rock Creation

Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun Portrait of Countess Golovine, 1797/1800

Thursday 6 June 7.30 pm


Speak the Speech I pray you

A great speech has the power to engage, inspire and stimulate. Why is it that some speeches have been credited with changing the course of history? What is it that elevates some speeches from the mundane to the eloquent?

Robert will explore what makes a speech memorable, illustrating his lecture with performance and readings. He will explore not only the content, but also various styles of delivery and rhetoric. By examining the language used, and by acknowledging the debt owed by many leaders to great speeches from literature, Robert takes a forensic look at why words can galvanize people to take action.

Wassily Kandinsky Composition

Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday 4 July 7.30 pm


Heaven’s Embroidered Cloth: The History and Development of Imperial Chinese Silk.

This lecture traces the origins and myths that surround Imperial Chinese Silk from Neolithic times (4000BC) through to the start of the Ming Dynasty in 1368. It traces the establishment of Imperial Weaving and Embroidery Workshops producing regulated Court Costume and decorative textiles for Imperial Palaces. The technological and artistic skills required for this ‘industry’ to flourish will be explored.

Particular focus will be given to the developments within the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. The Imperial Workshops produced an ever-increasing range of silk fabrics; the role of commercial workshops was to support the Imperial, domestic and export demand. The lecture is illustrated with fabrics, costumes and decorative textiles, which represent the pinnacle of the weavers and embroiderers art and expertise.

Self Portrait by Sydney Parkinson, botanical illustrator

Keith Houston – Antique Silk Banner, detail

Friday 5 July 10.00 am to 3.00 pm


Son of Heaven, Man of the World: The Emperor Qianlong, Ultimate Renaissance Ruler and Fine Art Collector

Our Special Interest Day, of three lectures, interlaced with morning tea and lunch, explores the life of one of China’s greatest Emperors. The ultimate Renaissance Ruler from 1735-1796, Qianlong was a successful military leader who guided China through an exceptional period of political and economic growth. He was an extraordinary scholar with a prodigious output of poetry, essays and calligraphy. But it was perhaps as a collector, curator and appraiser of Fine Art and Antiques that Emperor Qianlong created his most enduring legacy.

Bust of Nefertiti

The Emperor Qianlong 1740


Thursday 8 August 7.30 pm


Jewelled Journeys: The Art of Opulent Travel

Throughout history, travelling has been used as a way to display wealth, power, and status, as well as a useful tool to assert control over mighty subjects. Nowadays, we take a journey as a matter of course, not thinking much of a distance of a hundred miles or more. In the past, it was very different. An Aristocrat had to take not only clothes, but food, furniture, cooking facilities, tents, and objects used to ease travel, not just for himself and family but his household as well.

In this talk, Andrew will show the many lavish and opulent accessories and modes of transport that were used by Monarchs and Aristocracy, while on their seasonal “progress” to and from each other’s estates. Diplomatic meetings between Kings turned into a contest of rivals to see who could outdo each other in the finest accommodation, jewels, silks, retinue and luggage train.

Bust of Nefertiti

Rene Antoine Houasse – King Louis XIV of France, 1679

Thursday 5 September 7.30 pm


Architecture, Music and the Invention of Linear Perspective

In his dissertation on architecture, Leon Battista Alberti – the original ‘Renaissance man’ – wrote: ‘We shall therefore borrow all our rules for the fixing of proportions from the musicians’. 

It is not surprising that the question of proportion should be an important theme in Alberti’s book, but how did the musicians get involved? It turns out that there is a mathematical link between visible proportions and audible proportions, or harmony, and that Renaissance architects were well aware of this link. They saw it as proof that their architecture could participate in the harmony of the whole cosmos. One of them, Filippo Brunelleschi, took the idea further in his invention of ‘linear perspective’ and revolutionised western painting.

Colin Davies – Pazzi Chapel in Florence, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi

Thursday 3 October


The Power and the Glory of British Country Houses: their Evolution and Changing Role

It is often argued that Britain possesses the finest collection of ‘living’ stately homes in the world. They represent one of the country’s greatest assets and its greatest contribution to the decorative arts worldwide.

This lecture goes back in time to explain their origins in British history, the changing nature of society, and the way country houses have evolved. This journey through their history illustrates the most magnificent examples in all their grandeur and beauty, and reveals the impact they have had on society. Consideration is given to changing roles of the homes and if they still exert a powerful hold on society. How should we look on them today, and how are they to survive and evolve in the future?


Bust of Nefertiti

Kingston Lacy, in Dorset, England


All lectures are held at the Berry School of Arts, 19 Alexandra St, Berry NSW 2535.
Evening lectures commence at 7.30pm. A light supper and wine or juice is served after each lecture.
Special Interest Day lectures commence at 10.00am. Morning tea is served on both days and a ‘Champagne’ lunch on the full day.


The annual subscription fee for the nine evening lectures, plus light supper, remains at $140 per person.

The Special Interest Day, with three lectures plus morning tea and lunch, is $60 for members, $70 for non-members.

The Special Interest Day, with two lectures and morning tea, is $35 for members, $40 for non-members.

Members unable to attend an evening lecture may transfer the use of their badge to a non-member for a visitor fee of $10.

This is subject to presentation of the membership badge on the night. The fee for members of other ADFAS Societies is $10.

Membership between Societies is not transferable.


Visitors are most welcome at all lectures: $25 at the door for the evening lectures.

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